Russia has deployed additional military hardware and at least 200 more soldiers, mainly ethnic Chechens, in Abkhazia, Davit Bakradze, the Georgian state minister for conflict resolution issues, said on November 12.
He said five T-72 battle tanks; five GRAD-type multiple rocket launchers; five armored vehicles and seven howitzers were deployed in Ochamchire.
“This is a step directly aimed at aggrevating the situation in Abkhazia and provoking conflict there. It seems that some in the Russian Federation thought that Georgia had been weakened and they thought that it was the right time to implement what they have been trying for many years already in Abkhazia,” Bakradze said in a live televised statement aired by the Georgian Public Broadcaster.
“I want to categorically warn everyone: an increase in Russian troop levels in Abkhazia is absolutely illegal and it will be met with a severe response and grave consequences. The Georgian state has not been weakened and the Georgian state will respond appropriately to the attempts to occupy its territory.”